Life affords few greater pleasures than being free to wander the galleries of a museum, a glass of wine in hand, conversation bursting in the air all around like tiny bubbles. Well, it is too good to be true, you can't actually drink in the galleries. So we began our evening at the New Photography exhibition at the bar, like civilized people. It was a lively scene for people watching while scarfing white wine and plantains. On to the show!
The New Photography exhibit featured the work of four artists—Roe Ethridge, Elad Lassry, Alex Prager, and Amanda Ross-Ho. Alex Prager's work was the real highlight. Her photos share some sensual qualities with Cindy Sherman- thick, shiny synthetic bouffants, a smart cinematic vintage aspect, and an undeniable modern appeal. Her short film, "Despair", of a woman with impossibly red lips, dashing through a window was a retro, pulp confection. Her inviting, filmic tableaux had the effect of elevating the viewer. The artist herself flitted through the crowd, a blonde stunner with a big 'do and a little black dress. (Below: Prager on the left, on the wall: Prager's Susie and Friends)
Coming out of the exhibit you find yourself in the next room in which "Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography" is on view. The flow from Prager's work to Nan Goldin, Dorothea Lang, Diane Arbus, and Cindy Sherman et al. is appropriate and illuminating. The transition implies Alex Prager as the next generation to follow these great photographers. How splendid to spend moments in the world generated by their perspectives, and for Ms. Prager, what a swell party it is.